“These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy.” Luke 18:16b (MSG)
Peter loved life and relished family, church and school activities. His beaming face portrayed his love of God to all.
Larry, my husband, pastored the church where Peter attended. His parents had responsibilities there, as well. He would accompany them, assisting as needed. He became a Royal Ranger, similar to the Boy Scouts and wore his uniform with pride. His desire was to become an evangelist when he grew up to tell others of Jesus’ great love.
At Christmas time one year, Peter said to Larry, “Pastor I have a present for you. ” He gave permission for him to open it right away. There in the little red, wrapped folds was a 50 cent piece for his friend. Larry was joyful and Peter, jubilant.
Peter began to decline in health and tests were done. His mommy asked Larry to accompany them to the doctor’s for the test results. The devastating diagnosis? Leukemia! At that time, there were no known cures so Peter became progressively worse, to everyone’s dismay. Unable to keep attending elementary school, he needed to be tutored and it was my honor to do so. Throughout his treatment, he remained cheerful and kind.
Due to his weakening condition, he became confined to bed most of the time with his Mom nearby. One day he stated to her, “I’m back, Mommy! I’m back!”
“Where did you go, Peter?” she asked.
“Jesus took me to heaven. It’s beautiful there. I saw family, too. You wouldn’t believe the colors that I’ve never seen before. It’s such a beautiful place!”
Within a short time, Peter was taken to the hospital and soon passed away. Larry witnessed this with sorrow and yet a sense of knowing he was with his very best Friend of all.
At the funeral, we gazed at his body, clothed in his Royal Ranger outfit. We all knew he had exchanged it for his new robe of white. He was now in the arms of Jesus, holding His own pride and joy at last.
Lord, though I may weep over the death of my loved ones here, reassure me of the total adoration You feel welcoming those that serve You. Death is really the door to eternal bliss in your beautiful home.